Eagles coach praises ‘Lord and Savior’

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson proclaimed his appreciation for his “Lord and savior Jesus Christ” after the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII win over the New England Patriots.

The Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 Sunday night.

What did Pederson say?
In a center-stage interview following the win, Pederson responded to a question about what it was like to rise from a high school football coach to coaching an NFL team that ultimately won the Super Bowl.

“How do you explain this, that nine years ago you’re coaching in high school and here you are with this trophy?” NBC’s Dan Patrick asked Pederson after the win.

“I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity,” Pederson gushed. “And I’m going to tell you something. I’ve got the best players in the world, and it’s a resilient group.” Read more

 

 

Super Bowl LII was the championship game of the 2017 season of the National Football League (NFL), the 52nd Super Bowl overall, and the 48th of the league’s modern era. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 41–33, to win their first Super Bowl. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception, and caught a 1-yard touchdown pass, was named Super Bowl MVP.

The game was held on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.[10] It was the second Super Bowl in Minneapolis, which hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992. It was the sixth Super Bowl in a cold-weather city,[11] and marked a return to the northernmost city to ever host the event.

The Patriots were the first team to appear in consecutive Super Bowls since the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX, which the Patriots also appeared in. Denied a record-tying sixth Super Bowl victory, New England instead joined the Denver Broncos with a record-tying fifth Super Bowl loss.

The Eagles had previously lost to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV and to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. Read more


 

Douglas Irving Pederson (born January 31, 1968) is an American football coach who is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He served as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013–2015. He spent most of his playing career as a member of the Green Bay Packers, serving as a backup quarterback to Brett Favre and holder on placekicks, and winning Super Bowl XXXI with the team over the New England Patriots. He was also a backup to Dan Marino as a member of the Miami Dolphins, and a starting quarterback for the Eagles and Cleveland Browns.

In his second season as the Eagles’ head coach, Pederson won Super Bowl LII (also against the Patriots), marking the first Super Bowl title in franchise history. He also became just the fourth person, after Mike Ditka, Tom Flores and Tony Dungy, to win a championship as both a player and coach.

Early years
Pederson was born in Bellingham, Washington, in 1968. He attended Ferndale High School in nearby Ferndale, Washington, and was an All-State selection in football, basketball, and baseball. After high school he graduated from Northeast Louisiana University, where he was quarterback from 1987 through 1990. He still holds multiple passing records at the school.

Professional
Miami Dolphins
Pederson originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Miami Dolphins on May 1, 1991, out of Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe) in Monroe, Louisiana.

First stint with Packers
Pederson worked out for the Green Bay Packers following week 10 in 1995, due to a season-ending injury suffered by backup Ty Detmer and a minor injury sustained by starter Brett Favre. Third-string quarterback T. J. Rubley was forced to play in week 10 and threw a game-ending interception after calling an audible, going against head coach Mike Holmgren’s playcall.

Philadelphia Eagles
Pederson signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on February 18, 1999, to become the team’s starting quarterback under new head coach Andy Reid, who was Pederson’s quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 1997–1998.

Cleveland Browns
Pederson considered retirement after being released by the Eagles, but instead signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns on September 2, 2000.

Green Bay Packers
The Packers re-signed Pederson to a one-year contract on March 13, 2001, to replace backup Matt Hasselbeck, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.[43] Pederson was the primary backup to Favre for the entire 2001 season, and was the primary placekick holder in every game. He was re-signed to a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Packers on April 2, 2002. Pederson again was the backup quarterback and primary holder in all 16 games in 2002.

Coaching career
High school
After his retirement, Pederson was hired as head football coach of Calvary Baptist Academy, a private Christian high school in Shreveport, Louisiana.[49] Calvary was going into its second year as a program when Pederson signed on in March 2005.

Pederson was the head coach at Calvary for four years, and held a 33–7 record in the regular season and an 8–3 record in the post-season. The Cavaliers were in the state playoffs all four years with Pederson as head coach. In his first season in 2005, the Cavaliers went 5–6 and lost in the first round of the state playoffs.[50] In 2007, he led the Cavaliers to the semi-finals and to their first district title.

NFL assistant coaching positions
Philadelphia Eagles
On January 29, 2009, Pederson was hired as the offensive quality control coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, reuniting him with his former head coach, Andy Reid.[51] He was promoted to quarterbacks coach on February 8, 2011, replacing James Urban, who was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator.

Kansas City Chiefs
On January 11, 2013, Pederson followed Andy Reid to the Kansas City Chiefs to serve as offensive coordinator.

NFL head coach
On January 18, 2016, Pederson was hired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles replacing Chip Kelly.[54] Despite having Sam Bradford on the roster as the starting quarterback, the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in 2016, similar to what the team did in 1999 by drafting Donovan McNabb when Pederson was the starting quarterback. Right before the 2016 season began, Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings and Wentz was named the starting quarterback as a rookie. Pederson and Wentz won their first three NFL games together, but finished the season 7–9, missing the playoffs. His 2017 season was much more successful as he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. In addition, under his leadership the Eagles held their first winning record since the 2014 season, their first division title and playoff appearance since the 2013 season, their first playoff victory since the 2008 season, and an appearance in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season.

Personal life
Pederson was born to Teri (née Boykin) and Gordon “Gordy” Pederson (1939–2016) on January 31, 1968, in Bellingham, Washington. Pederson and his wife Jeannie have three sons. Pederson has been a resident of Moorestown, New Jersey. Read more


MVP: Nick Foles started this season as a backup quarterback, and he ended it as Super Bowl MVP. Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception (that was not his fault) and also caught a touchdown in the Eagles upset win.

Nicholas Edward Foles (born January 20, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Arizona, and was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has also played for the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.

Foles played his first game with the Eagles in Week 10 of the 2012 season after Michael Vick left with an injury. Foles then made his first start the following week. In Week 9 of the 2013 season, he became the second quarterback to post a perfect passer rating (158.3) while passing for more than 400 yards, and also the first quarterback in NFL history to post a perfect passer rating and throw seven touchdowns in a single game. It was the 60th time in NFL history that a perfect passer rating was achieved overall. After stints with the Rams and the Chiefs, Foles returned to the Eagles in 2017. After Carson Wentz was injured late in the regular season, Foles led the Eagles to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl win. The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Foles was named the Super Bowl MVP. Read more

 

 

 

 

 

Planning

In 1991, I learned the importance of “Drop Your Agenda” during IBM sales training in Atlanta, GA. This was several weeks long of classes that taught us the importance of PLANNING. See, there is only one thing you have 100% control over when it comes to a sales call—that’s your preparation.

Meanwhile, this basic principle has followed me throughout my entire career. I reinvented myself over 3 times including becoming a successful stock broker for Paine Webber and instructor for Towson University. Today I mainly focus on Information Technology and Coaching Baseball and Soccer.

My experience with computers began in 1978 when my father started a programming business designing custom solutions to the construction, manufacturing, and distribution industry. I later attended University of Maryland in College Park and Johns Hopkins University and earned a Master’s Degree in MIS.

These skills have served me well on the ballfield. For example, last year I took a team that never won a game in the previous season (RPBL Baze) to the championships. Read more


Well, once again that dream came true this year with the Junior Orioles. Back in April 2017 when we began, i noticed very quickly many of the challenges that lies ahead. This Thursday, June 8th is our Game Seven.

One thing is for sure, it’s better to be “Safe than Sorry“.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.

Is it better to be Feared or Respected? That’s How Dad Did It.

Mike Gottlieb

Mike Gottlieb has been associated with the Towson baseball program for nearly four decades.  Gottlieb came to Towson as a player, before joining Bill Hunter’s staff as an assistant coach.  He took over as the Tigers head coach prior to the 1988 season. Since taking over, Gottlieb has led Towson to 713 victories, three conference tournament championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. He has averaged nearly 25 victories per season over his tenure. To put that in perspective, the school-record for victories prior to his arrival was 26. Born: October 24, 1956 (age 61) Lynbrook, New York

The Early Years
Gottlieb made an immediate impact in his first season as head coach, leading the Tigers to their first appearrance in the NCAA Tournament. He guided Towson to a 30-17-1 record, including capturing the East Coast Conference regular season championship with a 12-2 record. The Tigers swept through the ECC Tournament to win their first tournament championship. For his efforts, Gottlieb was selected as the ECC Coach of the Year and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year.

In their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers fell, 3-0, to eventual College World Series participant Miami, before rebounding for a 5-1 victory over VCU.  Three years later, Gottlieb led the Tigers to their second ECC Tournament championship and the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers opened the tournament with a loss to Mississippi State before rebounding for a 5-0 victory over Princeton. The victory over Princeton was significant as it marked the 100th victory in Gottlieb’s career. Gottlieb would lead the Tigers to another 30-win season in 1992, their final year in the ECC.

The CAA Era
After a down year in 2004, Gottlieb doubled the team’s win total in a 34-24 season in 2005. The Tigers got better as the season progressed, winning 17 of their final 24 games. The Tigers offense featured an explosive offense that led the country with 105 home runs. The lineup was led by Second-Team All-Americans Jason Maxey (23 home runs) and Casper Wells (17 home runs).

Wells, who is the only Tiger to earn CAA Player of the Year honors, would go on to be drafted in the 14th round by the Detroit Tigers. Shortstop Shane Justis would be selected in the 21st round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the fourth time in the Gottlieb era that two Tigers were drafted in the same draft. The 2005 season also marked the first time the Tigers had reached the championship game of the CAA Tournament. Towson overcame an opening-round loss to knock off regular-season champions UNCW and Delaware on their way to the title game.

 

Gottlieb is also responsible for recruiting and coaching all eight All-Americans and all three Freshman All-Americans in school history. He has also coached seven Academic All-Americans and 18 Academic All-District honorees.  The Tigers have produced at least one all-conference performer in 25-straight years under Gottlieb. That list includes four conference player’s of the year, three defensive player’s of the year, one rookie of the year and 77 all-conference selections.

Gottlieb arrived in Towson after playing two seasons at Nassau Community College. He played first base for two seasons before graduating in 1979. After graduation, Gottlieb remained at Towson as an assistant coach for Bill Hunter. Gottlieb spent seven years as an assistant under Hunter. When Hunter stepped down in 1988 to become the Director of Athletics, Gottlieb was immediately tabbed as his successor. Gottlieb currently resides in the Towson area. Read more

 

1981–1987: Towson (asst.)
1988–2017: Towson
Head coaching record: Overall 733–821–10

Mike Gottlieb (born October 24, 1956) is a former American college baseball coach, serving as head coach of the Towson Tigers baseball program from 1988 to 2017. He was named to that position prior to the start of the 1988 season. Gottlieb played two seasons for Nassau Community College before transferring to Towson. He played first base for the Tigers and graduated in 1980. Read more

 

Towson Baseball History

Three years ago, he became the first Towson coach to win 500 games when he earned his 500th coaching victory with a win over Mount St. Mary’s on March 12, 2008. Coach Gottlieb led the Tigers to a 30-28 record in 2008 as the team came on strong at the end of the year. After earning the sixth and final berth in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 14-16 record, the Tigers reached the CAA finals where they lost to James Madison, 6-1.

 

In November of 2002, Coach Gottlieb was honored as the College Coach of the Year by the Middle Atlantic Regional Scouting Bureau.  Read more

 

As their program lay on the edge of oblivion, the Tigers charged ahead, winning the Colonial Athletic Association and earning a berth in the NCAA tournament. The politics surrounding the potential axing of Towson baseball went all the way to Annapolis — and the program received funding to continue for two years.

“For whatever reason, I had a fool’s optimism that things would work out,” Gottlieb said. “I don’t know that I had any reason for that, but that’s how I felt. I never talked to anyone about another college coaching job. I have a couple of friends in the scouting profession, and I said to them that if something was available, could they let me know — but I never actively, once, called someone who had the power to give me a job and asked for one.”

The Tigers will now look to defend their CAA championship title this season. One of the positives for the team is that most of last year’s roster has returned in 2014.

“Every one of our nine starting players returned,” Gottlieb said. “That doesn’t happen very often. We’ve moved a few people around — Zach Fisher’s now behind the plate, and for most of our early games, we’ve had a freshman at third base — but everyone else is a guy who’s been out there already.”

But because of some key injuries on the mound, including Paul Beers and Kevin Ross, the pitching will require some fresh talent to play well in order to stay consistent.  Read more

 


A look beyond the gleaming Towson logo and gem-encrusted baseball diamond on Mike Gottlieb’s 2013 Colonial Athletic Association championship ring reveals a message with deeper meaning. The veteran former head coach had the team’s rings engraved with the phrase “Against All Odds,” a nod to the program’s incredible resilience on and off the field on the way to its first conference title in more than two decades.

On April 1, O’Malley bailed out Towson with a plan to free up $300,000 in state funds to help continue the program. By May 25, the Tigers were CAA champions with a backstory worthy of national headlines. They also won their opener at the Chapel Hill Regional before losing their next two games.

“It’s not like winning World War II, but we fought the good fight,” Gottlieb said.

Now, Towson will move on without Gottlieb. The Tigers hired former Orioles farmhand Matt Tyner for the job June 22. Gottlieb plans to find some way to stay around the game. He’d have to find the right situation to coach in college again, though. Scouting seems a better possibility.  Read more

 

Bill Belichick

Who gets more CREDIT for all the Playoffs and Championships?
Quarterback or Coach

Recently, I was asked who was my favorite coach and why?  Well, I’ve always been a huge fan of Coach K. Read more  I particularly admire great strategist and cool headed tempers.

William Stephen “Bill” Belichick

(born April 16, 1952) is the head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). Belichick has extensive authority over the Patriots’ football operations, effectively making him the general manager of the team as well. He was previously the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Belichick’s father, Steve, was a longtime college football scout and coach who worked for 34 years at the U.S. Naval Academy. Bill often studied football with his father, and has cited him as one of his greatest mentors. He went on to play football and lacrosse in high school and football, lacrosse, and squash at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. He was captain of the lacrosse team in his senior year.

Belichick began his coaching career in 1975, and by 1985, he was the Defensive Coordinator for New York Giants head coach, Bill Parcells. Parcells and Belichick won two Super Bowls together (XXI and XXV), before Belichick left to become the head coach in Cleveland in 1991. He remained in Cleveland for five seasons, and was fired following the team’s 1995 season. Belichick then rejoined Parcells, first in New England, and later with the New York Jets.

After being named head coach of the Jets in early 2000, Belichick resigned after only one day on the job to accept the head coaching job for the New England Patriots. Since then, he has coached the Patriots to six Super Bowl appearances. His teams won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, and XLIX, and lost Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. He has led the Patriots to 13 AFC East division titles and 10 appearances in the AFC Championship Game. He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year for the 2003, 2007, and 2010 seasons.

Belichick is the NFL’s longest-tenured active head coach, and currently is 4th in regular season coaching wins in the NFL at 232, and first in playoff coaching wins with 23. He completed his 40th season as an NFL coach in 2014 and won his fourth Super Bowl, tying Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach. He is one of only five head coaches with four or more titles in NFL history. He is also the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowl championships in a four-year span. Read more


 

tom brady

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.

(born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He is one of only two players to win five Super Bowls (the other being defensive player Charles Haley) and the only player to win them all playing for one team.

After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. In Brady’s 15 seasons as a starter, he has quarterbacked the Patriots to eight Super Bowl appearances, the most for any player in history.

1998-Tom-Brady

Brady has been honored with four Super Bowl MVP awards (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, and LI), the most ever by a single player, has won two league MVP awards (2007 and 2010), has been selected to 13 Pro Bowls, and has led his team to more division titles (15) than any other quarterback in NFL history. As of the end of the 2017 regular season, Brady is fourth all-time in career passing yards, tied for third (with Drew Brees) in career touchdown passes, and third in career passer rating. His career postseason record is 27–9, winning more playoff games than any other quarterback, and he has appeared in more playoff games than any player at any position. Brady has never had a losing season as a starting quarterback in the NFL. His combined regular-season and postseason wins are also the most of any quarterback in NFL history. Because of his accomplishments and accolades, many analysts and sportswriters consider Brady to be among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Due to his late draft selection, Brady is considered to be the biggest “steal” in the history of the NFL Draft. Read more


 

Regarding ORIGINAL question above, I think the Quarterback gets the most credit.  However, the combination of having a great coach certainly helps!!!

 

 

 

RPBL Coaches’ Clinic

Train the Trainers

sponsored by Roland Park Baseball Leagues (RPBL)
will be a series of four WORKSHOPS at local indoor facilities convenient to Roland Park.  These events are designed to address all five of our little league age groups teaching various SKILLS including hitting, base running, infield, outfield, pitching and catching as well as, organizing an effective practice.

Workshops

Beginner – targeting T-Ball and International League Teams (ages 5-8)
Intermediate – targeting National and American League In-house Teams (ages 9-11)
Advanced – targeting Teen League and Travel Teams (ages 9-15)

Handouts

Agenda – Session1

Impact Baseball – Skill Benchmarks

Impact Baseball – Training Camps

Calvert Hall – Drills

Archbishop Spalding – Drills

Gilman – Drills

Grand Slam Baseball Camp

S3 Training Center – Programs

Extra Innings – Lessons & Tunnel Rentals


Three Sessions in One

Date: Saturday, February 17
Times: (each workshop is approx. 90 minutes each)

9:00 AM – Beginner

10:30 AM – Intermediate

12:30 PM – Advanced

LocationS3 Training Center
Address: 1412 Shoemaker Road Balt., MD 21209
Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile;
Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach; Brooks Kerr, Calvert Hall Coach and Joe Palumbo, Archbishop Spalding Coach

 


Advanced Workshop

Date: Sunday, February 25  |  Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM
LocationGilman (middle school gym)  | Address: 5407 Roland Avenue
Guest Speakers: Larry Sheets and Russell Wrenn, Gilman Coaches


 


 

 

Intermediate Workshop

Date: Sunday, March 4  | Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM
LocationBoys Latin (middle school gym)  | Address: 822 W Lake Avenue
Guest Speaker: Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach



Beginner Workshop

Date: Sunday, March 11  |  Time: 2:30 – 4:30 PM
LocationFriends (wrestling room / gym)  |  Address: 5114 N. Charles Street
Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile



Bios of our Trainers

(and a few Cameo Appearances)

Brooks Kerr
Calvert Hall Varsity Coach

A 1987 Calvert Hall graduate, played varsity baseball as well as basketball and football during his years at Calvert Hall. After graduating from The Hall, Coach Kerr attended Frostburg State University and was a 4-four year baseball letterman and captain his senior year. He is among Frostburg State’s leaders in on-base-percentage, stolen bases and fielding percentage.Coach Kerr joined the Calvert Hall coaching staff in 1992 as the first Freshmen Baseball team Head Coach. He then became the Head Coach on the Junior Varsity in 1993 and won 5 MIAA championships from 1993 to 2000. Coach Kerr became the assistant varsity coach in 2002 and currently is a Guidance Counselor at The Hall. Frostburg State Univeristy – B.S.

 


Joe Palumbo
Archbishop Spalding Varsity Coach

As a high school player, Joe Palumbo provided the spark that drove DeMatha to three straight WCAC baseball championships. When Archbishop Spalding named him as his father’s replacement as head coach on June 19, it was Palumbo’s competitive fire and winning ways that once again set him apart.At DeMatha, Joe was always a coach on the field, says DeMatha Head Coach Sean O’Connor. He was a great two-sport athlete. I am really happy for him and I think he will do a great job at Spalding.In 2004, the All-County shortstop was the Stags’ co-captain and co-MVP on the baseball diamond as well as the valedictorian of his senior class. Palumbo’s efforts earned him a scholarship to the University of Maryland where he went on to play. At Maryland, Palumbo earned All-Academic ACC honors and was known by his coaches for his leadership abilities and clutch hitting.

As an alumnus of Spalding and being Joe’s brother I’m excited, said Dan Palumbo, head coach of the 14U Chesapeake Baseball Association champion Southern Maryland Red River Dogs. Spalding baseball is in good hands. As far as a transition is concerned, Joe will carry on many of my dad’s traditions at Spalding and the players will benefit greatly from that.Continuity in the hand-off between father and son will be a key element in the Cavaliers’ continued success. After winning the MIAA A championship in 2011 and coming close in 2012, Jeff Palumbo, Joe’s father, stepped down from his position at Spalding this spring and accepted the job of president and principal of Pallotti High School in Laurel.Joseph will be great for the players at Archbishop Spalding, says Jeff Palumbo. He is intensely competitive with a great knowledge of the game. He understands what it takes, on and off the field, to compete at the highest levels of high school and college baseball.

In college, Joe Palumbo faced some of the ACC’s best talent, including future big-leaguers Matt Wieters, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Buster Posey, but big challenges have never daunted the 26-year-old Bowie native.  When it comes to baseball I’m very similar to my father, says Joe Palumbo. We’ll play aggressive baseball at Spalding. We’ll take some chances on the base paths. We’re going to create runs any way possible. At the plate we’re going to be a team of tough outs. We’ll play with passion and it will be my job to put my players in a good position to succeed and win games.  Read more


Larry Sheets
Gilman Varsity Coach

Born December 6, 1959 in Staunton, Virginia, and is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played for the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners from 1984 to 1990 and 1993. He also played one season in Japan for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1992.Sheets attended Eastern Mennonite University, where he played basketball. He was named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s all-conference second team in 1980 and to the first team in 1982. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite in 1984. He was named to Eastern Mennonite’s athletic hall of fame in 1988.  Sheets currently operates a youth sports facility in Westminster, Maryland, and serves as Gilman School’s head Varsity Baseball coach.He has a son named Gavin in the Chicago White Sox organization.  Read more  |  Stats

 


Russell Wrenn
Gilman Varsity Coach

Coach Wrenn was a three-sport athlete at Gilman. His senior year, he played on the 1996 A Conference championship baseball team; Gilman’s first A conference championship in baseball. Wrenn went on to play baseball and football at Washington & Lee. Wrenn’s college coaching career started in 2000, when he coached football and baseball at Dickinson College. Wrenn next moved to Johns Hopkins, where he worked for legendary baseball coach Bob Babb for two seasons, before returning to Dickinson as the head baseball coach from 2003-2006. As the youngest full-time college baseball coach in the country, Wrenn led Dickinson to their first (and only) conference playoff appearance in his first season. The program established eight school records during Wrenn’s tenure.

Wrenn spent a decade coaching at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta before returning to his alma mater Gilman in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster baseball teams experienced unparalleled success, culminating in the school’s first baseball state championship in forty-one years in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster teams won two region titles and advanced to the state semifinals or finals four consecutive seasons – no other school in the state of Georgia accomplished this level of sustained success from 2013-2016. Wrenn was named the state coach of the year in 2013 and 2016, Atlanta Braves Metro Coach of the Year in 2016, and the America Baseball Coaches Association’ Regional High School Coach of the Year in 2016. Wrenn helped mentor Westminster baseball players who went on to play for LSU, Georgia Tech, Duke, Missouri, Notre Dame, Harvard, Wofford, Butler, Mercer, Richmond, W&L, and the 2016 1st-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians. Russell is married to Erin Wrenn, a lawyer in the state Attorney General’s office, and they have three children, Ronan (8), Cormac (6), and Cavan (4). Gilman News | Read more


Bill Greenwell
Boys Latin School of MD Varsity Head Coach

MIAA B Conference (Champions 2017 and 2016)
1992-2012 Grand Slam USA Owner and director of instruction
1999-2001 Seattle Mariners Associate Scout
2001-2003 Park School Varsity Head Baseball Coach
2004 Harford Community College Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
2008-2013 Diamond Pros and Fowble Foundation Head Coach
2011-Present Boys’Latin Head Baseball Coach

Baltimore Sun #1 | Baltimore Sun #2 | Baltimore Sun #3


Brett Linnenkohl
Founder of Impact Sports Baseball

Former Friends School Varsity Baseball Head Coach (MIAA B Conference).  Impact founder Brett Linnenkohl always had passion and talent for sports. His dedication took him from little league all-star teams to all-state awards in high school, successes which made him the envy of top Division-1 programs like University of Washington, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Dartmouth, NC State, and Washington State University.In 2004, Brett was a projected 7th round draft pick by MLB.com, but decided to attend Wake Forest University and become a Demon Deacon. Between seasons at Wake, Brett played on college summer circuit, including the notable Alaska and Cape Cod Leagues. An unfortunate injury in 2008 extinguished Brett’s playing career, but sparked a fire for coaching that still burns today.  Impact Baseball | Baltimore Sun | College Baseball


Dave Meile
Impact Baseball Instructor

Coach Dave played at Shepherd University on scholarship, playing infield and providing the power in the middle of the lineup. Dave continued his career as a coach a Frostburg State University, assisting the team to their first CAC championship. He has worked with numerous kids in surrounding leagues through Impact and has earned the reputation as one of top youth development coaches in the area. Coach Dave is an expert not only in the game of baseball, but a true expert in inspiring athletes to give their all in every workout, while making it fun and enjoyable. Read more

 


Mike Gottlieb
Former Towson University Coach

Mike Gottlieb has been associated with the Towson baseball program for nearly four decades.  Gottlieb came to Towson as a player, before joining Bill Hunter’s staff as an assistant coach.  He took over as the Tigers head coach prior to the 1988 season. Since taking over, Gottlieb has led Towson to 713 victories, three conference tournament championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.Gottlieb made an immediate impact in his first season as head coach, leading the Tigers to their first appearrance in the NCAA Tournament. He guided Towson to a 30-17-1 record, including capturing the East Coast Conference regular season championship with a 12-2 record.

Junior Brady Policelli led the CAA with a .375 average on his way to earning First-Team All-CAA honors. Policelli would be drafted in the 13th round of the Detroit Tigers. Under his guidance, Gottlieb has had 16 players selected in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, while a handful of other players have signed professional contracts. Left-hander pitcher Chris Nabholz became the first Towson player under Gottlieb to make it to the majors. Nabholz made his major league debut for the Montreal Expos on June 11, 1990, after being selected by the Expos in the second round of the 1988 draft. Nabholz is still the highest drafted player in Towson history.

Casper Wells became the second player from the Gottlieb era to make it to the majors when he made his debut with the Detroit Tigers on May 15, 2010. Wells was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2005 draft. Gottlieb is also responsible for recruiting and coaching all eight All-Americans and all three Freshman All-Americans in school history. He has also coached seven Academic All-Americans and 18 Academic All-District honorees.  Read more


Rob Slade
Strength & Conditioning Trainer

As owner and developer of the Sport-Speed-Strength Training Program, Rob Slade is the true keystone of S3 Training Center. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S) NSCA, Rob has been training sports teams and individual athletes as well as Police and Firemen since 1981. Rob was awarded the Division 1 Collegiate Conference Strength Coach of the Year (Two times) NSCA. Rob’s past training experience also includes being the former strength and conditioning coach as well as the Assistant Track Coach for UMBC. He also was the former Strength Coach for the USA Sailing and Chessie Racing Teams. Rob has personally trained and provided fitness training for several Police and Fire Departments including Howard County, Maryland State Police and Baltimore County. He is a graduate of Towson State University and is from the Baltimore area. Rob is the physical education instructor for several schools in the area. Finally he holds several patents for the design of exercise equipment used in training. Facebook

 


Joe Orsulak
Private Instructor

Joe’s career spanned 1983 to 1997, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, and Montreal Expos. Orsulak, who threw and batted left-handed, played mostly in the outfield, although he played some games at first base. On the basepaths, he had better than average speed, until a 1987 knee injury slowed him down.[1] His strong arm helped him lead the league, in 1991, in outfield assists.[2] In 1992 he made the first out at the Orioles’ new Camden Yards ballpark, going on to lead the team that year in batting average. Despite his relatively long career (with five major league clubs), he never played in the post-season in the Majors. Wikipedia / NY Times / Baseball Warehouse

 


Sam Snider
Private Instructor

Sam was with the Baltimore Orioles from 1980-2007 serving as the batting practice pitcher, bullpen catcher and bullpen coach. Sam was hired full time with the Orioles by Cal Ripken Sr. in 1987. In his time with the Orioles he threw batting practice to Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. and warmed up greats such as Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Mike Mussina in the bullpen. After the Orioles, Sam went on to coach in the Atlantic League alongside Orioles Hall of Famers Chris Hoiles and Tippy Martinez for the York Revolution. He briefly managed the team in 2009. Sam has 30 years of professional baseball experience and is a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the game. Facebook

 


Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Kurt Overton, Bill Greenwell, Rob Slade, Andrew Wolfe, Chris McCullough, Tim Holley and all the Athletic Directors for making this happen and letting us use their indoor facility! 

Also, special thanks to ALL the Trainers, including Brett Linnenkohl for providing solid support to RPBL for many years and making a big impact on the development of some outstanding baseball players.

Brett Linnenkohl of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons hustles into third base versus the Clemson Tigers during the second game of a double header at Gene Hooks Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, Sunday, March 9, 2008.

These events are a direct response to some of the feedback from our parents during the 2017 Spring In-house season.  We heard your voice and want to make RPBL better.  Instructors will include the very best in the business – high school, college and MLB professionals.  Also, be sure to check-out some of the Ripken Way online videos and RPBL Coaches’ page. +

 


 

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The Hustler’s Handbook

What is the difference between a promoter and a hustler?” Bill Veeck asks. “Well, let’s look at it this way. Neither one of them is an advertiser. An advertiser pays for his space. A promoter works out a quid pro quo . A hustler gets a free ride and makes it seem as if he’s doing you a favor.”

William Louis Veeck Jr.

(February 9, 1914 – January 2, 1986), also known as “Sport Shirt”, was an American Major League Baseball franchise owner and promoter.

After marrying Mary Frances Ackerman, Veeck bought an 80% stake in the St. Louis Browns in 1951. Hoping to force the NL’s St. Louis Cardinals out of town, Veeck hired Cardinal greats Rogers Hornsby and Marty Marion as managers, and Dizzy Dean as an announcer; and he decorated their shared home park, Sportsman’s Park, exclusively with Browns memorabilia. Ironically the Cardinals had been the Browns’ tenants since 1920, even though they had long since passed the Browns as St. Louis’ favorite team. Nonetheless, Veeck made a concerted effort to drive the Cardinals out of town.

Some of Veeck’s most memorable publicity stunts occurred during his tenure with the Browns, including the appearance on August 19, 1951, by Eddie Gaedel, who stood 3 feet 7 inches tall and is the shortest person to appear in a Major League Baseball game. Veeck sent Gaedel to pinch hit in the bottom of the first of the game. Wearing elf like shoes and “1/8” as his uniform number, Gaedel was walked on four straight pitches and then was pulled for a pinch runner.

He was the man who brought a midget to home plate and explosives to the outfield of Comiskey Park. But beyond the flash, legendary owner Bill Veeck’s open-minded approach brought positive changes to the game of baseball.

On Aug. 19, 1951, a 3 foot 7 inch man named Eddie Gaedel walked to the plate as a pinch hitter for the Browns. Wearing the uniform number “1/8,” Gaedel used his miniscule strike zone to draw a walk on four pitches. He was promptly replaced for a pinch runner at first base, completing his day as the shortest man to ever play in the major leagues.

Veeck was just four years old when his father, sportswriter William Veeck, Sr., was named president of the Chicago Cubs. As a teenager, the younger Veeck learned about team management while he worked multiple jobs as a vendor, ticket salesman and junior groundskeeper.

In 1941, Veeck partnered with former Cubs star Charlie Grimm to buy the Triple-A Milwaukee Brewers. Arriving in Milwaukee with just 11 dollars in his pocket, Veeck put his creative mind to work. He gave away live animals during Brewers games, scheduled morning games for night-shift workers and staged weddings at home plate. Five years and three American Association pennants later, Veeck sold the Brewers for a $275,000 profit.

After a stint in World War II, during which he lost his right leg, Veeck sought a path into the major leagues. Devising a debenture-stock group that enabled financial backers to put the majority of their money into loans for the team, Veeck was able to become a minority owner of the Cleveland Indians for only $268,000 in 1946. Read more

After the 1952 season, Veeck suggested that the American League clubs share radio and television revenue with visiting clubs. Outvoted, he refused to allow the Browns’ opponents to broadcast games played against his team on the road. The league responded by eliminating the lucrative Friday night games in St. Louis. A year later, Cardinals owner Fred Saigh was convicted of tax evasion. Facing certain banishment from baseball, he was forced to put the Cardinals up for sale. Most of the bids came from out-of-town interests, and it appeared that Veeck would succeed in driving the Cardinals out of town. However, just as Saigh was about to sell the Cardinals to interests who would have moved them to Houston, Texas, he instead accepted a much lower bid from St. Louis-based brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, who entered the picture with the specific intent of keeping the Cardinals in town. Veeck quickly realized that the Cardinals now had more resources than he could even begin to match, especially since he had no other source of income. Reluctantly, he decided to leave St. Louis and find another place to play. As a preliminary step, he sold Sportsman’s Park to the Cardinals.

At first Veeck considered moving the Browns back to Milwaukee (where they had played their inaugural season in 1901). Milwaukee used recently-built Milwaukee County Stadium in an attempt to entice the Browns. However, the decision was in the hands of the Boston Braves, the parent team of the Brewers. Under major league rules of the time, the Braves held the major league rights to Milwaukee. The Braves wanted another team with the same talent if the Brewers were shut down, and an agreement was not made in time for opening day. Ironically, a few weeks later, the Braves themselves moved to Milwaukee. St. Louis was known to want the team to stay, so some in St. Louis campaigned for the removal of Veeck.

He got in touch with a group that was looking to bring a Major League franchise to Baltimore, Maryland. After the 1953 season, Veeck agreed in principle to sell half his stock to Baltimore attorney Clarence Miles, the leader of the Baltimore group, and his other partners. He would have remained the principal owner, with approximately a 40% interest. Even though league president Will Harridge told him approval was certain, only four owners—two short of the necessary six for passage—supported it. Realizing the other owners simply wanted him out of the picture (indeed, he was facing threats of having his franchise canceled), Veeck agreed to sell his entire stake to Miles’ group, who then moved the Browns to Baltimore, where they were renamed as the Orioles, which has been their name ever since. Read more

 


Edward Carl Gaedel (June 8, 1925 – June 18, 1961) was an American with dwarfism who became famous for participating in a Major League Baseball game.

Gaedel (some sources say the family name may actually have been Gaedele, which is the name seen on his gravestone) gained recognition in the second game of a St. Louis Brownsdoubleheader on August 19, 1951.Weighing 65 pounds (29 kg) and standing 3 feet 7 inches (1.09 m) tall, he became the shortest player in the history of the Major Leagues. Gaedel made a single plate appearance and was walked with four consecutive balls before being replaced by a pinch-runnerat first base. His jersey, bearing the uniform number “​1⁄8”, is displayed in the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, in his 1962 autobiography Veeck – As in Wreck, said of Gaedel, “He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big-league ball. He was also the only one.”

Appearance
Due to his size, Gaedel had worked as a riveter during World War II, and was able to crawl inside the wings of airplanes. He was a professional performer, belonging to the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). After the war, Gaedel was hired in 1946 by Mercury Records as a mascot to portray the “Mercury Man.” He sported a winged hat similar to the record label’s logo, to promote Mercury recordings. Some early Mercury recordings featured a caricature of him as its logo.

Browns’ owner Bill Veeck, a showman who enjoyed staging publicity stunts, found Gaedel through a booking agency. Secretly signed by the Browns, he was added to the team roster and put in uniform (with the number “1/8” on the back). The uniform was that of current St. Louis Cardinals managing partner and chairman William DeWitt, Jr. who was a 9-year-old batboy for the Browns at the time.

Gaedel came out of a papier-machecake between games of a doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis to celebrate the American League’s 50th anniversary. The stunt was also billed as a Falstaff Brewerypromotion. Falstaff, and the fans, had been promised a “festival of surprises” by Veeck. Before the second game got underway, the press agreed that the “midget-in-a-cake” appearance had not been up to Veeck’s usual promotional standard. Falstaff personnel, who had been promised national publicity for their participation, were particularly dissatisfied. Keeping the surprise he had in store for the second game to himself, Veeck just meekly apologized.

Although Veeck denied the stunt was directly inspired by it, the appearance of Gaedel was unmistakably similar to the plot of “You Could Look It Up,” a 1941 short story by James Thurber. Veeck later insisted he got the idea from listening to the conversations of Giants manager John McGraw decades earlier when Veeck was a child.

At the plate
Gaedel entered the second half of the doubleheader between the Browns and Detroit Tigers in the bottom of the first inning as a pinch-hitter for leadoffbatter Frank Saucier. Immediately, umpire Ed Hurley called for Browns manager Zack Taylor. Veeck and Taylor had the foresight to have a copy of Gaedel’s contract on hand, as well as a copy of the Browns’ active roster, which had room for Gaedel’s addition.

The contract had been filed late in the day on Friday, August 17. Veeck knew the league office would summarily approve the contract upon receipt, and that it would not be scrutinized until Monday, August 20. Upon reading the contract, Hurley motioned for Gaedel to take his place in the batter’s box. (As a result of Gaedel’s appearance, all contracts must now be approved by the Commissioner of Baseball before a player can appear in a game.) The change to that day’s St. Louis Browns scorecard, listing Gaedel and his uniform number, had gone unnoticed by everyone except Harry Mitauer, a writer for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.The Browns’ publicity man shunted Mitauer’s inquiry aside.

Gaedel was under strict orders not to attempt to move the bat off his shoulder. When Veeck got the impression that Gaedel might be tempted to swing at a pitch, the owner warned Gaedel that he had taken out a $1 million insurance policy on his life, and that he would be standing on the roof of the stadium with a rifle prepared to kill Gaedel if he even looked like he was going to swing. Veeck had carefully trained Gaedel to assume a tight crouch at the plate; he had measured Gaedel’s strike zone in that stance and claimed it was just one and a half inches high. However, when Gaedel came to the plate, he abandoned the crouch he had been taught for a pose that Veeck described as “a fair approximation of Joe DiMaggio’s classic style,” leading Veeck to fear he was going to swing. (In the Thurber story, the player with dwarfism cannot resist swinging at a 3-0 pitch, grounds out, and the team loses the game.)

With Bob Cain on the mound—laughing at the absurdity that he actually had to pitch to Gaedel—and catcher Bob Swift catching on his knees, Gaedel took his stance. The Tigers catcher offered his pitcher a piece of strategy: “Keep it low.” Cain delivered four consecutive balls, all high (the first two pitches were legitimate attempts at strikes; the last two were half-speed tosses). Gaedel took his base (stopping twice during his trot to bow to the crowd) and was replaced by pinch-runner Jim Delsing. The 18,369 fans gave Gaedel a standing ovation.

Baseball reaction
Veeck had hoped that Delsing would go on to score in a one-run Browns victory, but he ended up stranded at third base and the Tigers went on to win the game 6–2. American League president Will Harridge, saying Veeck was making a mockery of the game, voided Gaedel’s contract the next day. In response, Veeck threatened to request an official ruling on whether Yankees shortstop and reigning American League MVP Phil Rizzuto, who stood 5’6″, was a short ballplayer or a tall dwarf.

Initially, Major League Baseball struck Gaedel from its record book, as if he had not been in the game. He was relisted a year later, as a right-handed batter and left-handed thrower (although he did not play the field).Eddie Gaedel finished his major league career with an on-base percentage of 1.000. His total earnings as a pro athlete were $100, the scale price for an AGVA appearance. However, he was able to parlay his baseball fame into more than $17,000 by appearing on several television shows.

Read more

$$$

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Gaedel?wprov=sft

Derek Jeter – $1.2 billion purchase of Marlins

 

Derek Jeter is perhaps one of the best shortstops I’ve ever watched


MLB owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman

The sale of the Miami Marlins to a group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter has received the stamp of approval from Major League Baseball owners.

Owners on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of the $1.2 billion deal to buy the franchise from Jeffrey Loria. The deal is expected to close Monday, one day after the end of the season.

“I wish the best to Jeffrey Loria and David Samson,” said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “During their tenures, the Marlins won the 2003 World Series, hosted this season’s successful All-Star Week at spectacular Marlins Park and eagerly supported our efforts to grow the game internationally. I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Marlins and look forward to Mr. Jeter’s ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player.”  Read more


Derek Jeter doesn’t have many answers for the Miami Marlins — yet

The new owners of the Miami Marlins pledged to make fans their “No. 1 priority,” but provided few other specifics about what direction they intend to take both on and off the field.

Will they trade Giancarlo Stanton?

Will they change the team’s colors and logo?

Will they break up the roster and rebuild from the ground up?

“Some of these details are going to take time,” said Derek Jeter, the former New York Yankees star who bought the franchise in partnership with lead investor Bruce Sherman and others. “We’re in a transition phase. It’s going to take a lot of patience.”

One day after completing the purchase of the team for $1.2 billion from Jeffrey Loria, Jeter and Sherman answered questions but offered little about how they intend to energize a franchise that has gone eight years without a winner and lags near the bottom of the majors in attendance.

As Sherman noted: “We have a lot of work to do.”

And as Jeter added: “Moving forward, there’s going to be, at times, unpopular decisions we make on behalf of the organization. But, just understand that every decision we make is for the betterment of this organization.”

Both repeatedly emphasized the need, however, to invigorate a largely disenchanted fan base that has had little to cheer about from one losing season to the next.

Miami resident and Marlins fan Udonis Haslem talks Jeter sale

Miami resident and Marlins fan Udonis Haslem talks Jeter sale on Oct. 3, 2017.

Despite the opening of a new ballpark in 2012, the Marlins have ranked no better than 27th in home attendance (out of the 30 Major League teams) during the past five seasons. Their eight-year losing drought is the longest in the Majors, and they haven’t reached the postseason since winning the World Series in 2003.

“We believe in this market,” Jeter said. “We believe in the fan base. We are focused on bringing the fans back. We want them to get to know us as owners. More importantly, we want to get to know them. We want to hear from the fans. We need to get back into the community and bring the fans back.”

Said Sherman, who has a 46 percent stake in the franchise: “There are no surprises to anybody in the group about the attendance … and all the elements. We have to re-engage the community. We recognize that. We know it’s a long-term process.”

Jeter joked that attendance didn’t look too bad to him when he attended Sunday’s season finale at Marlins Park. A crowd of 25,222 turned out, primarily to see whether Stanton would hit his 60th home run (he didn’t). Jeter said it was the first game he has watched from the stands since he was in high school.

But both acknowledged there are challenges ahead.

Jeter gave no strong indication whether trading Stanton or other core players was part of the plan. He said he first wanted to speak with Mike Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, before making any decisions. But it is widely assumed the new owners, given that the team lost more than $50 million last season with a $115 million payroll, will look for ways to cut costs.

“I don’t like the word teardown,” Jeter said. “Yeah, we are rebuilding the franchise. But I think a lot of times people associate those words with losing, and you never go into a situation and the message is we’re going to lose.”

Jeter indicated that strengthening a farm system that ranks as one of the worst in the Majors is another priority, which would suggest trading top players to acquire young talent.

“We do have to rebuild an organization, and it starts with player development and scouting,” Jeter said. “You have to be strong in those areas, because if you’re going to have a sustainable organization over time, you need that pipeline of young players that can come.”

Jeter would not say whether he intends to keep manager Don Mattingly, though the two have a long relationship from their days with the Yankees. All indications are he will remain to serve a third season.

Jeter, a resident of Tampa, also said he intends to spend the bulk of his time in South Florida running the Marlins. Read more


Derek Jeter has about 4 percent stake in new Marlins ownership group

Derek Jeter has about a 4 percent stake in the group buying the Miami Marlins and retired NBA great Michael Jordan approximately half of one percent, part of a $1.2 billion purchase from Jeffrey Loria that includes $800 million in cash.

Bruce Sherman, who will become the controlling owner, has the highest equity stake in the group, about 46 percent according to details obtained by The Associated Press. The figures were provided by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not been announced.

Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain who led the team to five World Series titles, will head the team’s baseball and business operations.

“He understands that people are watching and he understands that he’s not being judged by the fact that he can play shortstop for the New York Yankees and get world championships that way,” outgoing Marlins president David Samson said Thursday. “It’s a whole new game and he knew it from Day One.”

The incoming group, unanimously approved by baseball owners on Wednesday, will assume $100 million in the team’s debt and is restructuring an additional $300 million of the club’s debt. The sale is scheduled to close Monday, the day after the regular season ends.

“Are people happy for a change? They may be. And I hope they’re much happier,” Samson said. “I guess my wish would be that Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman get every benefit of the doubt and that every fan and every person in South Florida looks at this as a new beginning.”

The new ownership committed a $50 million reserve fund to the franchise, which also will receive about $50 million more for reserves as the Marlins’ share of money The Walt Disney Co. is paying to acquire additional equity in BAM Tech, which was spun off from Major League Baseball’s digital company.

Sherman was co-founder of Private Capital Management, based in Naples, Florida.

Among others in the ownership group (and their approximate stakes) are Viking Global co-founder David Ott (10 percent), Energy Capital Partners senior partner Doug Kimmelman (8 percent), Sigma Group founder Jaime Montealegre (7 percent) and The Beekman Group managing partner John Troiano (5 percent).

Sherman, Jeter, Kimmelman, Ott and Troiano will serve on the team’s board.

As part of the $800 million being paid by the incoming group, $90 million is preferred equity.

Loria bought the franchise for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry, who became part of the Boston Red Sox ownership group. Samson joined the Marlins along with Loria, his stepfather.

The Marlins won the World Series in 2003 but has not been to the postseason since, the second-longest postseason drought behind Seattle (2001). Samson said the team operated at a loss this year, when it had a $116 million payroll for its roster as of Aug. 31, according to MLB figures.

“A lot of things have happened over the years when it comes to losing money,” Samson said. “Jeffrey funded this team by himself for 16 seasons. There were several seasons where he didn’t have to but way, way more when he did have to. Some years our payroll was too high, some years our payroll was just right — and then we’d get in the race and our payroll would get too high again.”

Samson met with team employees at Marlins Park, a stadium built with public financing that opened in 2012.

“It’s with a definite heavy heart and it is with an amount of emotion that I don’t often show or feel that I say goodbye to this organization,” he said. “But I will never say good-bye to this community.” Read more


Derek Jeter preaches patience, warns of ‘unpopular decisions’ for rebuilding Marlins

“We believe in this market. We believe in the fan base,” said new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter has a plan, but he’s not ready to tell you what it is yet.

Jeter, the Miami Marlins’ new CEO, and Bruce Sherman, the chairman/principal owner, stressed that fans are “our No. 1 priority” and preached patience when it comes to turning the Marlins around, repeatedly noting their desire to engage the community and that they believe in Miami as a market and the Marlins as an organization.

But, speaking Tuesday at Marlins Park during their introductory news conference, Jeter and Sherman offered few specifics regarding how they intend on changing the region’s sentiment toward the team and reversing the Marlins’ on-field fortunes.

“This is a long process,” said Sherman, a retired money manager who lives in Naples. “We’re prepared and we want to win.”

Sherman and Jeter, who has a small ownership stake, finalized their purchase of the team for $1.2 billion from Jeffrey Loria Monday. A day later, at the dawn of what could be a transformational offseason for the franchise, the pair’s agenda included meeting with Marlins employees as they started to lay out their vision.

Jeter warned of looming “unpopular decisions” and acknowledged that the organization will rebuild.

“The word teardown and rebuild — yeah, we are rebuilding a franchise,”’ Jeter said. “But I think a lot of people associate those words with losing. You never go into a situation and the message is ‘We’re going to lose.’

Hyde: Derek Jeter isn’t saying, but he must know rebuild is first order with Marlins | Commentary
“We’re rebuilding it, putting the right people in place. Everything is strategic, and we have a plan for what we’re doing. But at the same time, we have to have patience.”

Jeter and Sherman, wearing matching navy blue suit jackets and light blue button-down dress shirts, playfully bantered with each other and reporters throughout their 25-minute question-and-answer session, avoiding particulars but hitting on several key themes.

Among them: Reaching out to the community, which for years had a largely toxic relationship with the previous regime, and building from within.

“We feel as though there’s huge upside, and that starts with community engagement,” Jeter said. “Get back in the community and bring the fans back.”

On the baseball side, Jeter — a five-time World Series champion as the New York Yankees’ superstar shortstop — wants to be thorough. Read more


Derek Jeter’s group closes on $1.2 billion purchase of Marlins

Derek Jeter’s group closed on its purchase of the Miami Marlins on Monday, and he and new controlling owner Bruce Sherman will speak publicly for the first time about the deal at a news conference Tuesday.

Major league owners last week unanimously approved the $1.2 billion sale of the franchise by Jeffrey Loria to the investment group led by Jeter and Sherman. The closing came one day after the Marlins concluded their eighth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the majors.

Among issues to be addressed by the new owners will be the future of major league home run and RBI champion Giancarlo Stanton, whose salary will nearly double next year to $25 million, which could make him unaffordable for the revenue-challenged franchise.

Stanton can’t reach 60 but wins HR, RBI crowns
In the Year of the Homer, Giancarlo Stanton had the most out of everyone. The Miami Marlins slugger wrapped up a historic season by leading the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs, also an MLB-best.
Also in question are the status of manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

Loria became widely unpopular because of his frugal ownership. He bought the franchise for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry, part of the current Boston Red Sox ownership group.

Jeter, who played on five World Series champions with the New York Yankees, will head baseball and business operations for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2003. He has about a 4 percent stake in the ownership group.

Sherman has the highest equity stake at about 46 percent. The venture capitalist spent much of his financial career in New York and has a home in Naples, Florida.  Read more


New Marlins owner Derek Jeter: ‘We do have to rebuild an organization’

Back in the ballgame, Derek Jeter says he’ll learn on the job as he tries to lead the Miami Marlins out of the wilderness.

How Jeter expects to get there remains a secret, even after his first public comments about the Marlins since beginning his pursuit of the team nearly a year ago. The rookie owner declined to discuss his plans, and whether they include Giancarlo Stanton, Don Mattingly or even the home run sculpture at Marlins Park.

“You’re trying to get me to tell you what I’m going to do?” Jeter said. “Some things you keep private. But yeah, we do have to rebuild.”

Jeter and new principle owner Bruce Sherman held a 30-minute news conference Tuesday to discuss their investment group’s $1.2 billion purchase of the Marlins. Jeter shed no light on an anticipated roster shake-up following the team’s eighth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the majors, but said he’ll rely heavily this offseason on president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

“I’m not coming in here thinking I know everything about team ownership. I do not,” Jeter said. “One thing I’m good at is knowing what I do not know. I surround myself with people who are much smarter than I am.

“We have some wonderful people who are working in this organization now. We are going to add some quality people as well to help us turn this organization around.”

The former New York Yankees captain attended Miami’s season finale Sunday — the first time he sat in the stands since high school. Yet another Miami loss didn’t change his mind, and the next day Jeter and Sherman closed on the purchase of the team from Jeffrey Loria.

Jeter said he hasn’t met with any players, and wouldn’t address the future of Stanton, the major league home run and RBI champion. Stanton’s salary will nearly double next year to $25 million, which could make him unaffordable for the revenue-challenged franchise.

Loria became widely unpopular because his frugality led to constant roster turnover and lots of losing. Jeter acknowledged speculation that another payroll purge looms.

“I don’t like the word teardown,” Jeter said. “Moving forward, there are going to at times be unpopular decisions we make. We have a plan, but at the same time we have to have patience.”  Read more

PostSeason

Astros shut out Yankees in ALCS

On Saturday night in Houston, the Astros defeated the Yankees by a score of 4-0 (box score) in Game 7 of the ALCS. The Astros will now advance to take on the Dodgers in the World Series, which begins Tuesday in Los Angeles.
As for Game 7, Houston starter Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers pitching in relief combined for the three-hit shutout. For the Astros, Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve homered, and Alex Bregman shined on defense. On the other side, CC Sabathia allowed only one run despite putting eight men on base in 3 1/3 innings. However, Tommy Kahnle, who had been perfect in the 2017 postseason, gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings. On offense, the Yankees as a team went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position.
Here are 14 more things to know about Game 7.
Morton was nails
What an effort from Charlie Morton in the biggest game of his life. He coughed up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his previous ALCS start, but this time around, he threw the ball very well.

Morton was efficient, needing only 54 pitches to get through five innings, 37 of those pitches going for strikes. He had the stuff, sitting mid-90s with the fastball and masterfully weaving in the ol’ 12-to-6 curveball. He allowed just two hits while striking out five and walking one.
The Astros were likely prepared for anything when it came to the pitching plan in this one. Among the most unlikely outcomes heading in, at least for outside observers, was Morton dealing for five scoreless.
It was only five innings — by design — but Morton deserves heaps of praise in this one. He stifled a very good offense.

Home field rules

We just witnessed a seven-game series in which the home team won every game. It feels like this happens often in the NBA, but in MLB it’s not commonplace. In fact, there have only been four postseason series where the home team won every single game (via Dan Hirsch):
1987 World Series – Twins over Cardinals
1991 World Series – Twins over Braves
2001 World Series – Diamondbacks over Yankees
2004 NLCS – Cardinals over Astros

Read more and CBS News


Astros’ offense and emotions wake up

Jose Altuve has led the American League in hits each of the last four seasons, his total adding up to 845. It’s likely none of them evoked the kind of animated display the Houston Astros second baseman let loose after his fifth-inning single Friday.

Jose Altuve was the Astros’ emotional leader in Game 6, firing up the team with a pair of huge key hits.

His fellow Astros hitters were nearly as pumped.
For five-plus games, the most prolific offense in the majors had been bottled up in the AL Championship Series, held to a mere nine runs and a .147 batting average by the New York Yankees pitching staff.

Friday’s do-or-die Game 6 was looking much the same until Brian McCann broke through with a fifth-inning double for the night’s first run, after Houston had gone 4-for-27 in its previous chances with runners in scoring position in the series.

But it wasn’t until Altuve followed three batters later with his two-RBI hit that Minute Maid Park truly exploded, as the sellout crowd of 43,179 sensed a decisive Game 7 would be in the offing.

GAME 6: Verlander dominates again as Astros force decisive Game 7

Read more


Wow, it’s hard to believe the season is almost over! 2017 has been an exciting pennant race with the Boston Red Sox going out early and my local favorite – Washington Nationals losing again.

It just seems like Dusty Baker chokes when it counts. They say that baseball is a game of inches. Well, their lost to last year’s World Series Champions – Chicago Cubs was very disappointing given the fact that they had an incredible regular season.

What has been very frustrating this year is the fact that the Baltimore Orioles started off the season with one of the best winning records. However, by late April / early May they fell apart and never saw first place again.  The O’s finished in last place.

So, now I’ve switched to the Houston Astros, which I predict are going to beat the Yankees and play the Dodgers in the World Series.

Professional Sports

Be the Best

Just about every athlete that I ever played ball with (including soccer, as well as other individual and team sports) always wanted to be the BEST. One of my most competitive sports was perhaps swimming. I used to train with Reds Hucht, coach of Knights of Columbus Orchards (KCO) back in 1980-81 when I was at the climax of my athletic career. I even made it to the Junior Olympics qualifying in 50 backstroke. Reds coached at Calvert Hall and KCO for over 50 years. Read Legacy and MD Hall of Fame.

However, baseball was always and remains to be my favorite sport. In fact, this article is a tribute to Duane Rhine, my good buddy growing up together in Bel Air, MD. I remember playing baseball with Duane just about every day and hitting balls into a “homemade batting net” he built in his backyard. He was a superstar at Bel Air High School and went on to play for some top colleges.

Well, the biggest RISK in life is not trying something you might be afraid of. At least I gave it a shot and tried out for the Baltimore Orioles back in 1985 after I graduated Boys Latin High School. I also tried out for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates that same year. Interestingly, a noteworthy teammate of mine, Brian Kowitz went on to play in the Major Leagues for the Atlanta Braves. Also, that year our Cockeysville travel team won the Maryland State Championship and went up to the Meadowlands in New Jersey to compete in a regional tournament. Duane played short stop on the team. Some other great baseball players during that era were Brian Bark (MLB player from Randalstown), as well as Mark Belanger and Terry Crowley who both had sons that I ran into on the ballfield.

Wagners

Perhaps the highest level of baseball I competed in was in the All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA). I played for Wagners Baseball who typically always gave Johnny’s a run for the money. Often we split a series. Brian Bark I recall was their star pitcher and I faced him a few times. In case you are not familiar with AAABA, here is a little history.

Johannes Peter “Honus” Wagner (February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955) was an American baseball shortstop who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history with Tony Gwynn. He also led the league in slugging six times, and in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” due to his superb speed and German heritage.

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth. Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner “maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond.” In addition, Wagner is the featured player of one of the rarest and most valuable baseball cards in the world. Read more

Johnny’s

Everyone remembers Earl Weaver from the 80’s. Well, another semi-pro team that I competed against was Johnny’s. Now it’s called Youse’s Maryland Orioles and the All America Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) tournament in Johnstown, Pa., will be seeking an unprecedented fourth straight national title by Youse’s Orioles. They have continued a tradition of excellence that has lasted more than a half-century. For the last five years the team has played under the name of Youse’s Maryland Orioles, in honor of the late legendary coach, Walter Youse, who guided the team the previous 46 seasons. Dean Albany, the most recent of the impressive list of assistants who served under Youse, is in his fifth year as the team’s leader. He is only the third coach in the team’s 55-year history. References: Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia | Baltimore Wire

Over that period of time, Baltimore’s AAABA representative has won 23 national championships and finished second eight times. At last count, 48 former players have gone to the big leagues, including two Hall of Famers. Two others went on to become major league general managers.

Ray Muhl was the manager of the first Leone’s team that featured Al Kaline. He turned over the reins to Youse in 1957. Youse ran the team under three different names until he passed away five years ago. The team operated under the Leone’s banner until 1972, then had long runs under the names of Johnny’s, sponsored by Johnny Wilbanks, and Corrigan’s, with former Leone’s pitcher Bill Corrigan backing the team. The club has operated as the Maryland Orioles for the last eight years, with the support of the major league team. Read more and Press Box article

Yankee Rebels Baseball Club

In spite of getting a glimpse of the AAABA league, the most memorable experience growing up was when I played for the Rebels.

Yankee Rebels
The Yankee Rebels, under 19 team beat Putty Hill in the Baltimore Metro League, May 27, 2008

Once again, Duane Ryan was on the team. I definitely have a lot of pride mentioning that team and it will forever remain in my heart! As a matter of fact, I ran into Joe Palmer, my old coach at Extra Innings last year.

This marks the 43rd Year Anniversary of the Storied Yankee Rebels Baseball Club. In 1969 Young Joseph and Francis Palmer fresh out of the US Air Force launched a series of Yankee Rebels Baseball Clinics, while piloting a new 14u Ball Club. The 1969 team had a rough start, finishing with a record of 5-22. Things improved quickly with the decision after 1972 to have Joe manage the 14u team and Francis to head up the new 16u team. By 1976, the Yankee Rebels Babseball Club began recieving national attention by winning births to three consecutive World Series. The Palmers became Pioneers in their cutting-edge teaching techniques that gave Young Rebel Players the clear advantage over their counterparts. College Coaches and Pro-Scouts were now bombarding the Coaching Staffs for recommendations on players for their specific programs. Francis stepped in to assume the duties of State Commissioner of AABC in 1978 to rescue the troubled program from folding. This program became the pre-cursor for the Baltimore Metro Baseball League that was turned over to Rebels Coach Roger Faw.

The next twenty-five years included the creation of High School Fall Ball Leagues and the East Coast Premiere Fall Showcase Program. The Yankee Rebels Fall Showcase Program was designed for Graduating High School Seniors. By 2001 the Yankee Rebels Baseball Club included players from all over the State of Maryland with over 90% of them continuing their play at the collegiate or pro levels. Thirty-eight former Rebels Players signed Major League Baseball Contracts over the past 43 years. The Rebels have won 61 State and 24 Regional Championships, while competing in 47 World Series. The Yankee Rebels Professional Tree remains strong today with former players representing coaching at the High School, College, and Professional Ranks. Rebel Players are also currently positioned in areas of Pro-Scouting, College and Professional Umpiring, and Front Office Personnel in Colleges and Major League Baseball. Joe Palmer remains active in the Yankee Rebels Organization today, serving as President with General Manager Sherman Reed, Sr running the day to day operations of the Club. Read more

Yankee Rebels president Joseph Palmer said he has noticed a distinct difference between kids today with kids five years ago. Palmer said that kids today don’t have great baseball skills because of a lack of dedication. “If I challenge a kid like I did five or 10 years ago, he walks away. They want everything with a snap of a finger and don’t want to work for it. It’s mainly because parents put their kids on a pedestal, and the kids then think they don’t have to practice the skills part of the game.”

“People wonder how a scrawny kid like Dave Johnson [from Middle River] made it to the major leagues,” Palmer said. “He made it with hard work and by gaining baseball skills. All you need to do is be willing to work.” Palmer said some kids want to play games more than they want to learn the game. For that reason, more kids now are choosing to play in summer leagues than joining baseball camps. “Kids don’t realize that no one is going to remember who won yesterday’s game,” Palmer said. “They are focused on the winning and losing part of the game, but they can put that time into developing skills that will help them in the future.” Read more

Sterling “Sheriff” Fowble

Class of 1936 McDaniel College
Although he was a four-sport Green Terror, he excelled in soccer and baseball. After playing semi-pro baseball, he scouted for the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds, discovering greats like Al Kaline, Ron Swoboda, and Dick Boswell. He also was noted for working more than 30 years with 15- to 17-year-olds in Baltimore’s amateur leagues.

Fowble, coach 46 years on sandlots, dies at 76
Sterling “Sheriff” Fowble was a baseball man to the end. Only a few weeks ago he was saluted by a national organization as amateur coach of the year for Maryland. He went to a Western Maryland Hall of Fame affair and attended Carroll County and Patterson Park old-timers functions.

On Friday, Fowble, who managed 14-16 age group sandlot teams for 46 years in Baltimore, died of congestive heart failure at the age of 76.

For decades, when you thought of amateur baseball in this area, you thought primarily of two men: Fowble and Walter Youse, general manager of Johnny’s in an older age group.

When Orioles general manager Roland Hemond spoke at an old-timers’ banquet last year, he said: “If there were more men like Sheriff Fowble and Walter Youse in other cities, baseball would never have to worry about anything.”

More than 800 boys came under Fowble’s guidance. Last summer, even when his health was failing, he was general manager of the Harbor Federal Savings and Loan team and his wife of 51 years, Virginia, as always, was scorekeeper. Bill Becker, who played under Fowble in 1955, was manager.

“We had no children of our own, but every year we kept 18 boys out of trouble,” Virginia Fowble said. “We were the richest couple in the world.”

Fowble worked as an accountant for Bethlehem Steel for 42 years. On the side, he scouted for the Cincinnati Reds for 15 years and for the New York Mets for 22. But his passion, and Virginia’s, was their sandlot team.

Twelve players managed by Fowble went on to the major leagues, including Al Kaline, Dave Boswell, Phil Linz, Jim Spencer, Ron Swoboda and Moose Haas. Kaline wound up in the Hall of Fame.

Swoboda wound up in the outfield of the New York Mets when they upset the Orioles in the 1969 World Series. Today he is the sports anchor for WVUE-TV in New Orleans — and a grandfather.

“Sheriff didn’t have kids, but in another sense he had a whole lot of them,” Swoboda said. “I was lucky enough to be one of Sheriff’s boys. If you didn’t play for Sheriff and Youse in Baltimore, you didn’t make it in pro ball. I’d never have been elevated to Youse if it hadn’t been for Sheriff.”

It was Fowble who switched Swoboda from third base to the outfield. Swoboda was indignant. Even his mother was upset.

“In my first game in left field, on the Patterson Park diamond near the tennis courts, a ball was hit over my head,” Swoboda said. “I ran it down and threw the guy’s butt out at third base. I thought, ‘Hey, you can win games out here, too.’

“Sheriff was relentless. When you did something wrong, you heard about it. It was the first time a coach yelled at me. He was never malicious, never tore you down.

Fowble’s teams, known variously as High’s Ice Cream, High A.C., Gordon’s Stores, G & M Scrap, Highland Lanes, Hi-Landers, Highland Federal Savings and Loan and Harbor Federal, won 24 Baltimore City championships.

He had a couple of undefeated seasons and during a stretch from 1956-58, Gordon’s Stores won 83 straight. In their East Baltimore home, the Fowbles have a baseball for every year they were active with a team, except Kaline’s year, 1951. Sheriff said somebody took it out of the display case.

It all began one day in 1946 when a group of neighborhood boys knocked on the Fowbles’ door and told Virginia they wanted Sheriff to manage a baseball team.

“He’s down at the tavern playing cards,” Virginia said. “Go ask him. It would be good for him.”

An all-around athlete at Westminster High, Fowble went on to Western Maryland College and played four sports there. An outfielder, he spent a few weeks with a Boston Red Sox farm team in the Piedmont League, but couldn’t throw a lick because of a cranky shoulder that lingered from his football days. Read more


Today, I still try to keep in shape and enjoy swimming. It’s important to have heroes in life! Nevertheless, like I said earlier, the nice thing about sports is that it builds character, because there is always someone better than you tomorrow. In 2001 I competed in my first triathlon.

 

Silver Medal

Last night the Junior Orioles lost to the Ravens. As much as I love competition, I hate to lose. However, it’s comforting to know why.

They played better than we did.

Runner-Up

A runner-up is a participant who finishes in second place in any of a variety of competitive endeavors, especially sporting events and beauty pageants; in the latter instance, the term is applied to more than one of the highest-ranked non-winning contestants, the second-place finisher being designated “first runner-up”, the third-place finisher “second runner-up”, and so on.

While loosely acceptable for describing any second-place finisher in a sporting event, the “runner-up” label is more properly appended to one that finishes in that position as the result of having lost in the final round of an elimination tournament; specifically, its most frequent use is encountered in tennis, and refers to the player (or doubles team) that loses the final match; in most tennis tournaments, a testimonial award, often in the form of a plate, is given to the runner(s)-up following the final match, with the winner(s) receiving a trophy instead. It is rarely a term that is used in other sports.

In American team sports, the term is usually avoided in official circles, because the team losing in the final round of the postseason playoffs will have had to have won the championship of a lesser entity as a condition for reaching the finals; in basketball, American football and Ice hockey this would have been a conference championship, and in baseball a league championship, or colloquially, the league “pennant”. Consequently, the losing finalist will typically be referred to as the champion of its conference (or league in the case of baseball) rather than as a runner-up. Although the team that won the finals will also be a conference (or league in baseball) champion by necessity, it is usually not referred to as such because the title of “finals champion” carries more prestige.

Silver Medal

In the Olympic Games, runners-up receive silver medals, and in competitions held at county and state fairs in the United States, a red ribbon traditionally identifies the runner-up (with a blue ribbon signifying the winner, and white, yellow, green, orange, purple, and brown being the colors associated with third through eighth places, in that order). Read more

Playoffs

The playoffs, play-offs, postseason and/or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be either a single game, a series of games, or a tournament, and may use a single-elimination system or one of several other different playoff formats. Playoff, in regard to international fixtures, is to qualify or progress to the next round of a competition or tournament.

In team sports in the U.S. and Canada, the vast distances and consequent burdens on cross-country travel have led to regional divisions of teams. Generally, during the regular season, teams play more games in their division than outside it, but the league’s best teams might not play against each other in the regular season. Therefore, in the postseason a playoff series is organized. Any group-winning team is eligible to participate, and as playoffs became more popular they were expanded to include second- or even lower-placed teams – the term “wild card” refers to these teams.

In England and Scotland playoffs are used in association football to decide promotion for lower finishing teams, rather than to decide a champion in the way they are used in North America. In the Championship (the second tier of English football) teams finishing 3rd to 6th after the regular season compete to decide the final promotion spot to the Premier League.  Read more

An Olympic medal is awarded to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games. There are three classes of medal: gold, awarded to the winner; silver, awarded to the 1st runner-up; and bronze, awarded to the second runner-up. The granting of awards is laid out in detail in the Olympic protocols.

Medal designs have varied considerably since the first Olympic Games in 1896, particularly in size and weight. A standard obverse (front) design of the medals for the Summer Olympic Games began in 1928 and remained for many years, until its replacement at the 2004 Games as the result of controversy surrounding the use of the Roman Colosseum rather than a building representing the Games’ Greek roots. The medals of the Winter Olympic Games never had a common design, but regularly feature snowflakes.

In addition to generally supporting their Olympic athletes, some countries provide sums of money and gifts to medal winners, depending on the classes and number of medals won. Read more

Rain Rebound

5 Ways To Help Your Infield Skin Rebound From Rain Quickly

(following excerpts are from original material at Ballfields.com)

While the western quarter of the US is battling a daunting drought, the central portion of the US has been dealing with lots of rain over the past couple of months. Think about it. In a three week span, the entire state of Texas went from a major 4-year drought to being totally drought free. It takes a lot of rain to knock out four years of drought in just three weeks. With all that rain, surely there are many who are having issues with trying to get their fields ready after a rain. Let’s take a look at what you can do to help your fields recoup from a rain event as quickly as possible.

  1. Keep Your Infield Properly Graded
    First and foremost, make sure that your infield is properly graded to promote positive surface drainage. Ideally, the infield should be graded so that the area around the base of the pitcher’s mound is the highest point on the infield with the surface grade then sloping away from the mound in all directions. However, depending on the lay of the land that the field was built on, the other way of grading an infield would be to “sheet drain” it. This means the entire infield is tilted in one direction; for example, the infield may tilt from the first base foul line towards left field. In either instance, both of these surface grades are only efficient at draining the water off it if the surface is smooth and consistent. In other words, there are no high spots or low spots to impede or deflect the drainage. Proper nail and float dragging are crucial maintenance practices that, when done correctly, will keep your skin surface in smooth and consistent surface draining condition.
  2. Maintain Your Turf Edges
    Maintaining your turf edges to prevent lip buildup will allow the water to easily pass over from infield skin to turf area without any issues. When infield soil and infield topdressing buildup in the edges of the grass, that ridge or “lip” impedes the water from freely moving off the field. The more severe the lip, the more water it will hold back onto the infield skin. Properly maintain those lips to keep them from slowing your field from recuperating.

  3. Choose Appropriate Infield Soil Material
    The right infield soil material has a huge impact on speed of reentry onto an infield after a rain. Infield soils that are either high in silt or high in fine and very fine sand drastically effect how quickly the field is playable again after a rain. Even worse is when you have both problems! High silt and high fine sand content infield soils can take a day or multiple days to recuperate. Have your infield soil tested to check to see how your soil material lines up with the acceptable specifications. Strive for a balanced infield soil with the right amounts of medium to coarse sand and the proper ratio of silt to clay. It’ll make all the difference in the world as to how easy it will be getting the infield back into playing condition.
  4. Use an Infield Top Dressing
    Use a topdressing on your infield skin surface. An infield topdressing is a ¼” to ½” layer at the infield skin surface of a granular material that will not stick to a players cleat, even when wet. These materials, usually made of calcined clay, vitrified clay, expanded shale, crushed aggregate or crushed brick, tend to dry more quickly on the surface then if you just had the bare soil exposed. The topdressing will dry on the surface while your infield soil underneath is still moist, but the topdressing allows you still to reenter the field. It acts much like a mulch in a landscape bed and provides many benefits in the performance of the infield.
  5. Drag the Field Before Rain Storms
    When you know a rain is coming, keep the field dragged smooth if at all possible. The water will flow more easily and rapidly off the infield if it is smooth and not pock marked with cleat marks and divots. Additionally, keep the field TIGHT! A tight field absorbs less water than one that has been deeply nail dragged, which will create pore space for water to fill and slow the drying process down considerably after the rain event.

How it rains also can have an impact in how fast your field will recuperate and come back up online for play. A long, slow light to moderate rain of a couple hours or more is very penetrating and will be deeply absorbed by your infield soil. This type of a rain usually requires longer for the field to dry from. Compare that to a heavy rain lasting 15 to 30 minutes, or even an hour. This kind of rainfall, while possibly dumping many times the amount of water than a slow rainfall did, is a violent rainfall to the soil.

 

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992.   Read more

Lost Art of Bunting

Our little league recently tried a new strategy to encourage all hitters to pay closer attention to the strike zone and weaker hitters to have a better chance of getting on base…

I am a big believer in “base hits” win ballgames!

Unfortunately, our team has struck out 59 times in seven games. Breakdown per game: 13, 4, 6, 6, 10, 12 & 8.


MLB Traditional Methodology

Many coaches are in favor of giving up an out by bunting a runner over to second or even third base. I believe this is a bunting strategy that should be determined by a number of factors.

  1. Is it a close game
  2. Is it late in the game
  3. Can the runner steal second instead of being bunted over
  4. How well can the hitter bunt
  5. What is the batting average and on base percentage of the hitter

It really doesn’t make any sense to me, to have a batter at the plate with a high on base percentage or batting average and have him make an out just to move a runner over one base, especially
third.

I may give you in a very close game where one run will win it to
bunt a man over to third with no outs, then have a squeeze bunt if the next hitter is a capable man who can get the job done.

In Pony baseball, the chances seem to be better in favor of attempting
a steal, but again factors such as the runners ability to get a good jump and the catcher’s arm come into play.

In most situations, bunting a runner over early in the game just doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you are fairly sure it will
be a close game.

There is also something to be said for scoring the first run giving your team a psychological advantage. But before you bunt a man over consider who is coming up: are the chances favorable he can get
the job done with a base hit or fly ball, or is the hitter weak and bunting is probably the best option for him?

Even so, you’ve got to consider who is coming up after him whether they can
be counted on to get a hit or fly ball.
Here is one bunting strategy that works almost every time.

Runner on third, or runners on any other base. Less than two outs. The batter at the plate is an average or less hitter,
with weaker hitters coming up behind him….and you really want
to get a run in.

The batter bunts the ball down on the ground towards the third baseman. Have the runner on third follow the third baseman down the line, staying back from him 10 feet or so.

When the player throws to first for the out, you’ve got yourself an easy run. Do remember, if the shortstop is playing heads up ball and the third baseman is in the game, there may be an out at third, depends on how far the second base runner is advanced and how far the ball is bunted. But the chances of this happening are fairly slim, the odds are in the offenses favor.

There really are no hard and fast rules that are absolute, but the one thing I’m not in favor of early in the game is to
bunt a man over with decent hitters at the plate.

Even though everyone should be able to lay down a bunt if called upon, the better hitters in the lineup usually have little bunting experience in the game and so as a general rule are not really
that good at bunting simply because in most games in their past, they hit and didn’t have to bunt.

Remember what Earl Waver said: “If you play for one run, that’s usually all you’ll get.” Read more


Reading the pitcher

In this bunting strategy – recognize a pitcher’s weakness and exploit it for more bunt hits.

Bunting for a hit is an extremely valuable skill, and can even be the deciding factor in a close game when hits and runs are scarce.

Baseball players are creatures of habit!

Most people – and pitchers in particular – are creatures of habit. You can use this to your advantage.

How many times have you seen a ground ball hit back to the pitcher? He usually reacts in one of two ways: Take his time and make a nice throw to first base for the out, or secure the ball start running over to first base and give an underhand flip. As insignificant as this play seems it may tell us a few things about the pitcher and his mindset. This can be extremely important if you can and are willing to bunt.

Typically pitchers work on bunt plays where the baseball is bunted right back to them or towards third base where they can pick it up and throw it to first base. The whole thing becomes very instinctive and doesn’t require much thought or variation on the pitcher’s part.

So how can this help you out?

This can tell you if you should try to bunt against this particular pitcher.

(1) There’s a good chance you’ll be able to predict how he will handle that same scenario in the future

(2) You’ll have a clue as to what type of play is difficult for the pitcher (i.e. if this is a weakness for him) and then you can use this to your advantage.

Will he make a throw to first, or try to run and flip it?

Now lets go back to our pitcher and how he handles a throw to first base on a come backer.

If the pitcher throws the ball to 1st base, it’s a clue that he may be fairly athletic and feels comfortable in throwing a ball outside of his normal pitching motion. In this case, bunting may not be the best option.

However, if a pitcher runs it over towards first base and under hand flips it, there is probably a reason for that. It could be that he not confident in his throwing ability. Maybe he has thrown balls passed the first baseman in the past and now this is his go to move, or perhaps throwing to bases is something he doesn’t practice and doesn’t feel comfortable with. Either way, it can indicate a weakness you can take advantage of by bunting for a hit.

Taking advantage of the pitcher’s weakness

You can force the pitcher to make an athletic throw by laying a soft bunt down the first base line.

This is not a standard push bunt, you want to make sure it’s hard enough where the catcher can’t get it and the ONLY person that can make a play is the pitcher.

A pitcher who isn’t too confident in making an athletic throw will have difficulties with this play.

He has to get to the ball quickly, so his momentum not going in the direction of first base. Then he needs to make a throw to the first baseman without hitting the runner or throwing it into right field.

Since this isn’t a play that is practiced often, and it is a very difficult play, you will quickly tell how athletic the opposing pitcher is and if bunting may be a way for your team to scratch across a few runs.

The reason I picked this type of bunt strategy is because a bunt down the third base line is a play that happens so fast for the pitcher that he doesn’t have time to think about it. This tends to be an easier throw for him to make. Also, pitcher’s practice fielding this bunt often.

Of course, just because a pitcher runs and under hand flips a ball to first base on a come backer doesn’t guarantee that he is uncomfortable making an athletic throw. But paying attention and seeing this as a potential way to attack the pitcher may help you get to a pitcher that is tough to score runs against.


No More Easy Outs

Alfonso Soriano studied Willie Randolph, the Yankees’ third-base coach, as he touched his cap, his nose, his ear, his arm and his belt, and somewhere in Randolph’s rapid collection of movements was a sign for Soriano to bunt. This happened three different times while the Yankees played the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last month. Each time, Soriano looked inept as he failed to produce a sacrifice.

When Soriano was reminded of his failures, he offered a facial expression that made it seem as if he had gulped salt water. Then Soriano added revealing words to his already revealing actions.

”Bunting?” Soriano said. ”No. Sometimes when they ask me to bunt, I bunt it straight to the pitcher. I’ll be really mad if I make an easy out. I’m not really comfortable bunting. If I could put it down the line, O.K. It’s very important, but I’d rather hit the ball.”

Soriano made his comments while sitting near his locker at Yankee Stadium, but the words could have been spoken by almost any position player in any major league clubhouse. For other than a small percentage of adept bunters, the ability to deaden a pitched ball with a bat while simultaneously placing it away from the charging opposition is not considered a critical talent. Remember, baseball stages a home run derby at the All-Star Game, not a bunting contest.

”It’s not a glorious or a glamorous thing,” Mets pitcher Tom Glavine said. ”Other than starting pitchers and a handful of leadoff guys, players don’t do it. It’s lost its prominence.”

Baseball’s evolution has included smaller parks, bigger players, livelier balls and thicker contracts, but not necessarily heftier paychecks for a player who can bunt for a hit or to advance a runner. And just as influential, there are statistically attuned executives who dispute the traditional notion that bunting builds rallies, and they have data to support their theories.

Those general managers, like Oakland’s Billy Beane, Toronto’s J. P. Ricciardi and Boston’s Theo Epstein, are the current equivalents of Earl Weaver, who despised using the bunt as manager of the Baltimore Orioles across 17 seasons. The general managers have statisticians who support their belief that they should resist it. Read more